This Sunday at Fellowship we begin a series through the book of 1 Thessalonians called “A Model Church for A Modern World”. This is a series that will help us understand what God expects from His church and what the church should strive for.
The first question that we must ask ourselves is “why is attending church so important?” The church attendance of many people today is sporadic, or casual at best. While they often times aren’t outright choosing to reject attending church services, it just isn’t a priority. However, God commands our faithfulness to church attendance.
“not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:25
The question is why? Why do we have to go to church? Why is it so important that we be actively involved in a local church? Is watching a service online or on tv enough? We can sing along with the songs, hear the message and even give online, so why do we need to actually be in the building? Well the first clue is in vs 25 “but encouraging one another”. One of the biggest problems in our modern techno crazy society is that everything is all about us. Everyone has a blog, a facebook page , and a twitter account where we can be updated on opinions on everything and every issue. The result of all these things is that we begin to think we are more important then we are. We live in a culture where if you make a creative enough youtube video you can go viral and be famous instantly and so all of us tend to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. What we tweet and what we say on Facebook gives ourselves “credibility” on issues. Unfortunately, this way of selfish thinking has crept into our churches. However, Biblical Christianity is different. Biblical Christianity forces us to reject the “me-ism” that society worships and instead put God and others first. Our opinions and ideas don’t matter at all, the Bible should guide our every thought and practice.
To get a better understanding of why going to church is absolutely vital to the Christian life we have to jump back to verse 24 of Hebrews 10,
“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,”
We go to church so that we can encourage, provoke, or cause others to love God and serve Him. Do we benefit from going to church? Of course, our love for God and commitment for God will always be encouraged by Biblical preaching and worship. We have no hope of living a life that glorifies Christ if we are not actively involved in a local church. However, we must look beyond ourselves and realize that we have a responsibility as a Christian to effect other people for the glory of Christ.
We should be impacting people with the gospel and seeing them come to salvation and surrender their lives to Christ. Also, we should be encouraging other Christians in their walk with God. We should ask ourselves this simple question, “Are lives being changed to the glory of God and to the exaltation of Christ because of my influence? ” In simple terms, “Are we making an impact in the lives of people?” Casual church attendance will not only lead to us having an apathetic Christian life , but it will also keep us from impacting others for Christ. If your currently not faithful to church, start being faithful now! If your already faithful to a local church ask yourself “Am I going just for me or am I trying to help others love God and serve Him?” If you are like me you can think of specific people that have had a great impact on helping you grow in your love for God. Now it is our turn. Pour your life into the church (the very institution for which our beloved Savior Jesus Christ died). Christ laid down His life for the church, an example to us. Who are you laying your life down for?